Posts Tagged ‘SFMTA’

A Few of the Problems With Scott Wiener’s Announcement of a Massive Increase in Bay Area Bike Share (BABS)

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

[UPDATE: Oh, another press release has arrived – see it after the jump. I don’t know, maybe if I got hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from SFGov, I’d fall into the Reality Distortion Zone as well, who knows. In the meantime I’ll just try to make SFGov better, and I’ll leave my pompoms with the mothballs]

The news of the day:

We’re moving forward w massive expansion of in , 4 other cities. Huge step forward 4 :

All right, I’ll bite.

1. Just listen to yourself, Scott Wiener:

“Forward … massive … huge … forward”

Are you running for re-election 24-7?

2. So what do words mean? If I pay $9 for the privilege of riding a super-heavy bike for less than a half-hour, how is that “transit?” Let’s see here, transit, of course, is:

“…a shared passenger transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement. Public transport modes include city buses, trolleybuses, trams (or light rail) and passenger trains,rapid transit (metro/subways/undergrounds etc) and ferries. Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines, coaches, and intercity rail. High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world.

So bikes isn’t transit, d’accord? D’accord.

3. Isn’t your vaunted “Motivate” company really just Alta Bicycle Share? Don’t they have / had / will have a lot of workers’ rights / union organizing problems? Oh yes, yes they do / did / will! And yet, Scott Wiener goes after Google / Rebecca Prozan for what, what exactly? Imagine the blowback if Google or Facebook or Apple or one of its contractors started firing employees for union organizing? Well, let’s take a look at Motivate / Alta right here – and this is its side of the story. Take a look, take a look right here at your vaunted “partner.”

4. Does a “public-private partnership” imply a massive advertising deal is coming our way? Enquiring Minds Want To Know. I hope your partner’s “advertising partner” will be Coke, cause, you know, Coke Adds Life, right?

5. How often do the existing bikes get used these days? Not that much, right? And has traffic in San Francisco actually “improved” since Alta’s bike share thing came into SF? I don’t think so. I think it’s gotten worse, actually.

6. And is Scott Wiener really claiming credit for Bay Area Bike Share “oversight?” Well, how’s he doing? Not so hot, based upon its abysmal 2-star rating on Yelp, right? (And Yelp gives you one star just for showing up – like a two star restaurant won’t be in business very much longer. Of course, a fee and tax payer backed bike share program can last forever, right?) And these poor reviews don’t factor in the tens of millions of dollars the existing small program already costs us. What’s the public subsidy per ride? It’s pretty massive. And yet, people don’t seem to like it all that much. Mmmm… How many bikes could we just buy for people and give away for that same amount of money?

7. Oh, this isn’t your deal Scott Wiener? You’re simply “applauding” / patting your self on the back?

So Scott Wiener, to review, BABS isn’t transit, it isn’t very good, it’s costs us a lot of money already and the private part of your new public private partnership has a record of being quite hostile to organized labor.

Oh well.

SUPERVISOR WIENER’S STATEMENT APPLAUDING NEW PROPOSAL TO EXPAND BAY AREA BIKE SHARE

Proposal announced today by the Mayors of five Bay Area cities and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission – on which Supervisor Wiener serves — will expand the regional bike share network through a public-private partnership

San Francisco – Today Supervisor Scott Wiener released the following statement after the Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville announced a proposal to partner with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to expand the Bay Area bike share program by entering into a public-private partnership with Motivate:

“I applaud this proposal to dramatically expand bike share in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” said Supervisor Wiener, who serves as a Commissioner on the MTC. “A robust and sustainable bike share network is a key part of being a Transit First city and will allow us to reap the benefits of bike share, including reducing traffic, improving public transit, and stimulating the local economy. I’ve been an active supporter of bike share at both the MTC and the Board of Supervisors, and I will continue to work to bring this critical transit program to more neighborhoods in San Francisco.”

Supervisor Wiener has been involved in Bay Area Bike Share for several years, including oversight hearings and workings with the MTA, MTC, and other stakeholders to ensure a full rollout of the program.

Motivate’s proposal includes expanding the number of bikes in San Francisco to 4,500, up from the current 328. The number of bikes regionally would increase to 7,000 from 700. This expansion would not be funded by public tax dollars. The MTC’s Administration Committee will consider the proposal at its next meeting on April 8th, after which it will go to the full Commission. New stations are slated to be installed starting in 2016.

(more…)

Sign at Powell Street Cable Car Turnaround is Truthful But Unhelpful – A “Two Minute Walk” to a Less-Crowded Stop

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

I suppose somebody is selling something here?

7J7C4656 copy

Well, sure, the stop is less crowded, but at that point, the cable car itself is super crowded, right? And how many people are going to get off to make room for you, Gentle Reader? About zero, right?

I cry foul.

And the next stop up the hill?

The stop at Powell & Post Street, at Union Square, is known locally as “Fantasy Island,” due to the unlikelihood of being able to board a cable car at that point and the persistence of visitors in believing otherwise.”

Hey, is this sign legal, per SFGOV / SFMTA / SFDPW? IDK.

Looks Legit! – Hey, It’s a New “AMAZON DELIVERY” Van

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Nick Turner, an Editor employed by Bloomberg notes:

Think the green vans are groceries (Fresh) and white ones are contractors they use for Prime deliveries. Not 100% sure, though.”]

I’m a little auspicious of this one:

7J7C4622 copy

Oh, and Amazon, check out CVC 26708, Material Obstructing or Reducing Driver’s View, conveniently located after the jump. (Unless that doesn’t apply to your operation – I can’t tell if it does. But the spirit of this law certainly should apply to your operation, Amazon.)

(more…)

Here They Are, Our Brand-New “Beautiful. Functional. Rain Gardens” on Fell – Like Parklets, But for Weeds, Not People

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

[UPDATE: Our PUC writes in tell about how I’m confusing them with the CAPUC, the same way, one supposes that Mssrs. Matier and Ross got “confused” when calling them the PUC here. But take their tour if you want – see Comments.]

Remember the revival of “Victory Gardens?” I do. It peaked in 2009. But the new thang in urban gardening is upon us.

As seen on Fell, looking inbound:

P1200381 copy

(Oh, and the microfences already indicate that no bike parking is allowed. So what’s the PUC going to do? Ticket your ride? Cut off your lock and impound your bike?)

On Fell, looking outbound:

P1200378 copy

And look, clobblestones!

P1200382 copy

Are these real cobblestones? One can’t tell. Should they be? One doesn’t know.

P1200383 copy

All right, that was the windup, and now here’s the pitch, from the SFPUC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PG&E:

7J7C4714 copy

Are these realtor-backed parklets “beautiful?” I don’t think so. Will they “improve safety?” I don’t see how. And actually, spending tax and fee payer money on “streetscape” “beauty” instead of safety is the opposite of  “improving safety,” PUC. Oh, and PUC, if you ever want to talk about how best to “manage” California’s water resources for the benefit of all Californians, look me up, cause you’re doing it wrong…

All the deets:

Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project

Picture of Bulbout Area

Learn More About the Project

Check out SFMTA’s project website to learn more!

Improving Traffic Safety and Enhancing Stormwater Collection

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is teaming up with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) on the Oak Street and Fell Street Pedestrian and Bike Safety Project to integrate stormwater management with their traffic calming project.

In response to strong public feedback for more greenery and planting for the project, we’ve added rain gardens to the bulbouts along Oak and Fell Streets. A rain garden is a stormwater management technique which infiltrates stormwater into the soil, diverting water from going into the sewer. This addition to the project will benefit community members; not only will the project make residents and travelers safer, the rain gardens will add beauty and character to the intersections. Our partnership with the SFMTA will extend the improvements already underway. While the addition of green infrastructure will not result in any additional parking losses beyond what was approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in May 2012, four of the bulbouts will be larger than initially proposed. Originally scheduled for construction in late 2013, the project is slated to begin construction in early summer 2014.

Contact:

For construction inquiries, please contact:

Dadisi Najib – SFDPW
Email: Dadisi.Najib@sfdpw.org

Luis Montoya – SFMTA
Email: luis.montoya@sfmta.com

Ari Frink – SFPUC
Email: afrink@sfwater.org

For more project information, visit SFMTA’s site here.

Is the SFMTA Now a Paramilitary Organization? Here’s a Raged-Up Sergeant Yelling at an SFMTA PCO on Sansome

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

So, you can be a sergeant working for our inefficient SFMTA? Well that’s news to me. but see those stripes? Mmmm, I guess “Parking and Traffic” calls its supervisors sergeants, so this guy isn’t SFPD or any kind of peace officer?

Anyway, Dude on the bike here was pissed because the PCO in this Interceptor III cart told a driver to move along from a yellow zone, you know, instead of giving her a ticket:

“Why are you playing games with these people? She’s sitting there, you cite her!”

7J7C4690 copy

Now, talk about lacking situational awareness, the woman in the towaway zone merely pulled ahead a few feet and remained on the scene as this extended yellfest continued in front of all the GG Transit users waiting for the ride home north. And I was thinking, no girl, you want to clear out of here pronto.

Well, it turns out that she didn’t leave in time so she got ticketed anyway and now she owes three figures (including the $2.50 “convenience” fee) to our inefficient SFMTA. Oh well.

This is the MTA, your Money Taking Agency, in action.

The Driver of This BMW has No Fear – Goofy Looking All-Electric Car Deserves One Ticket for the Front and One for the Rear

Monday, March 30th, 2015

The driver of this ride was nowhere to be seen.

P1200274 copy

Man, that’s bold.

“Slow” #5 Fulton Driver Totally Pwns “Rapid” #5L Limited Driver on Market Street, Once Again.

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

I’ll tell you, when I first saw the Orwellianally-named #5R Fulton from our inefficient SFMTA, I thought it stood for Regular, you know, as opposed to Limited.

Isn’t that sad?

Anyway, yeah, out in the Richmond District, 5Ls travel faster than 5’s, but the tables turn on Market Street, when the regular #5’s regularly pass by the vaunted #5R’s (nee 5L’s).

Here’s the pass from the #5…

7J7C4236 copy

…and then he’s gone, leaving me and the #5L driver in the dust:

7J7C4238 copy

I’m thinking that unless you live Way Out West in the boonies of SF County, 5 > 5L.

Or, in the New Math, 5 > 5R.

Isn’t it ironic.

Dontcha think?

Fish in a Barrel: This SFMTA PCO Can Hand Out Multiple $105 “Block the Box” Tickets in One Minute

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Of course, the SFMTA could jigger the lights around the neighborhood of Bush and Sansome in a more efficient way, but then this meter maid wouldn’t be able to park her Cushman and then stand in the intersection to generate so many tickets that she has trouble with all the receipt tape she’s generating. See?

7J7C4219 copy

Her little machine might have a camera built in, and the GPS and the Wi-Fi and all sorts of things to allow her to bag three rides in one cycle of green yellow red.

Check it. All of these drivers on Bush inbound in the Financh are used to crawling across a San Francisco  intersection before the light turns red and then making it out of the intersection before the peds start coming. Except that this is notorious Bush and Sansome, where things don’t work that way.

And then here come the judge – tickets for everybody! It’s like Oprah handing out Pontiacs – YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET! AND YOU GET A TICKET!

7J7C4217 copy

(Mind you, this is an intersection where it’s quite safe to loiter about, so fret not.)

(Hey, is she recording the Vehicle Identification Numbers of all these rides? I think not. Is that some sort of technicality that will allow you to get out of your ticket after spending hours and hours of time fighting your ticket? IDK.)

Some drivers get stuck, but I’m thinking, well just make the left up Sansome* while you have the chance and then you’ll avoid a painful three-figure citation. But the drivers, then don’t have respect, they don’t see the danger.

And I’ll bet most of them aren’t even aware that they’re getting a citation.

Eventually, the driving culture at this intersection will change** if this woman makes a habit of harvesting money on the Evening Drive each and every day.

I ask you, Gentle Reader, what if the rest of SFGov were as efficient as this PCO?

*Whether it’s legal or not. In this case, that would be a legal turn but even if it weren’t, the chances of getting a moving violation doing that are virtually nil, as opposed to a parking ticket, where the odds are virtually certain. 

**In the old days, the SFMTA would tell its PCOs to stop handing out tickets during the Evening Drive and start directing traffic at busy intersections. Those days are over. This woman can pay her salary and fund her generous benefits and retirement package in one or two minutes of her shift. Remarkable!

Here You Go, Here’s the SFMTA’s Entire 244-Page “2015 IMPLEMENTATION WORKBOOK” – What’s in Store for YOUR Route?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Here’s your REVISION HISTORY, complete with an acronym list, the better to talk MUNI.

And here’s the rest

1-21 Intro, with index at the bottom

44-65 Proposals By Route + E Embarcadero to L Taraval

66-90 M Oceanview to N Judah + 1 California to 5 Fulton

91-115* 6 Parnassus to 12 Folsom/Pacific

116-150 14 Mission to 24 Divisadero

151-188 27 Bryant to 37 Corbett

189-244 38 Geary to 67 Bernal Heights

And moar? I know not.

Read all you want. (Imagine you’re an SFMTA fat-cat getting paid over $1000 a day to go through this stuff, if that’ll make it easier on you.)

*Sadly this part, she is missing. Send me a link if you find one.

MUNI’s Brave New World is Truly Orwellian: Like the #5L is Now the #5R? – Because “Rapid” “Sounds Better” Than Limited?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

So let’s see here, who’s offered me money, you know, for “outreach” that, you know, I’ve rejected? Well, PG&E and the SFPUC and that slow, clumsy SFMTA, for instance. Of course, some places, like the Bay Guardian (R.I.P.), and a defunct blog from the Avenues, and the MUNI Diaries or the SFBC, take money from those institutions, and in some cases, the dirty money has talked.

But it don’t talk to me.

Now you yourself might know more about MUNI than I, since I’ve mostly ridden bikes since I got here back in the 1980’s, because MUNI is such a remarkably poor transit system.

Having said that, WTF to this:

66 copy

One supposes that this is from an internal SFMTA PowerPoint presentation?

So “MUNI FORWARD?” What’s that? IDK. But let’s call it MUNI’s plan. And since we’re translating from marketing / “framing” words into Plain English:

“Investing” = Spending tax and fee payer money

“Customers” = Passengers

“Rapid” = Limited

Oh, here comes the “branding”

44 copy

Oh, a pole with a sign on it with the number of the bus? How fucking innovative! (Be sure to get a design patent on your “branding,” SFMTA.) And, what’s this,  you can’t put up plain simple cheap bike racks, you need to promote yourselves, SFMTA? Yish. Now “HISTORIC,” that means $6 one-way, soon enough, just as all the other lines will be $3 minimum, one-way, soon enough.

Capture3 copy

 

[Poles + The airing of grievances = Festivus]

All right, time to pour the old wine into new bottles, or as they say in Japan: “古いワイン、新しいボトル” [Oh, snap!] So forget about the “branding” of the brand-new #5L, that new line that’s not really faster than the regular old #5, not really. Oh, here we go:

The 5L doesn’t really work

That’s from 40 Going On 28, who similarly isn’t on the take from the SFMTA. Anyway, here’s your scorecard showing that the 5L is history:

11 copy

(Comrades, the 5L is the 5R, therefore, the 5L has always been the 5R)

The nice thing about the word Limited is that it’s accurate and people understand it. OTOH, calling any particular SFMTA bus line “Rapid” might not be accurate, right?

22 copy

And here’s the Good News, Gentle Reader! OMG! Look at all the exclamation points! Wow!

flier

Of course some things the SFMTA wants to do are good and some are bad.

Hey, MUNI, what about all your antiquated work rules, what about those?

Oh, that’s hard to deal with? Oh, you’d rather just rename things and make PowerPoints? OK fine.

Anyway, we’ll see how this one goes…

*Originally, I had a heavy $199 cr0-molly MTB from Price Club and then I got some other bikes and now my main ride is a heavy aluminum $269 MTB from the Marin Bikes Outlet at 7th and Folsom. Not much has changed, huh?